The 2019 Grammy Award nominations were announced this morning. Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and Childish Gambino led the pack nabbing the most and biggest nods, while Greta Van Fleet, Arctic Monkeys, St. Vincent, Travis Scott, and Drake also pulled in noteworthy mentions.
Conspicuously snubbed, however, were three of music’s most popular artists: Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift. Although they each received recognition in some way, the trio were all but shut out from the top categories, including those that have since expanded their number of possible nominees.
(Read: Top 50 Albums of 2018)
Grande has been a ubiquitous figure throughout much of 2018, what with Sweetener’s countless smash singles (“god is a woman”, “no tears left to cry”), her epic music videos, her outspoken nature on the topic of mental health, her record-breaking streaming numbers, and her ties to both Mac Miller and Pete Davidson. This return to the spotlight is also no small feat in and of itself, a triumphant comeback following the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. And yet, Grande received zero nominations in the general categories like Album of the Year, Record of the Year, or Song of the Year, earning only genre-specific nods for Best Pop Solo Performance (“god is a woman”) and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Kanye’s ye is hardly the best in his catalog, yet it’s still surprising to see the Chicago rapper absent from literally every single category except for Producer of the Year (non-classical). Sure, he’s managed to go his whole career without a Grammy in any of the major categories (only the rap and R&B ones), but one has to wonder whether the lack of even a nomination has to do partially with the MC’s especially divisive nature in 2018.
Compared to her past releases, Swift’s Reputation has had a mostly lukewarm impact on the pop music landscape. Even so, the thing still sold incredibly well, Swift went on to embark on a successful stadium tour, and her brand has remained in tact, still strong among her dedicated fanbase. However, perhaps for the first time ever, her enduring popularity hasn’t carried over into the Grammys — Reputation was recognized in the Best Pop Vocal Album category, but failed to make a showing anywhere else. For someone who has one of the most outstanding Grammys track records (31 nominations, 10 wins), just one 2019 Grammy nomination is an obvious blow.
Check out the full list of 2019 Grammy Awards nominations here. The ceremony takes place February 10th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.